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'Under Pressure' print show returns to Roco 

Materiality and maps

The third annual collaboration between Rochester Contemporary Art Center and the Print Club of Rochester, "Under Pressure: Redefining the Multiple," is a showcase of the diverse methods of contemporary printmaking. This year's iteration has a particular focus on the artists' attention to the substrates, or material the work is printed on, says RoCo Executive Director Bleu Cease.

Adirondacks-based artist Bob Erickson's images of stark, natural forms are what Cease calls "an idiosyncratic melding of different print techniques" that blends inkjet printing, digital photography, and dye transfers. Kathryn Polk, who is based in Arizona, creates stunning lithographs that weave bits of family history into mythic icons loaded with symbolism.

Ithaca, New York-based artist Pamela Drix's work is displayed both on the walls and as two towering sculptural installations toward the rear of the space. Each work is a collage that blends woodcut prints and encaustic on a range of materials including rice paper, vellum envelopes, and drywall tape. Through hints of narrative imagery and her complex clash of materials, Drix aims to explore the varied ways we experience place.

There's an incredible amount of detail in the work of Alfred, New York-based artist Joseph Scheer, whose series of black and white photographs forms a portrait of the resourcefulness in China's motorized tricycle culture.

In the LAB Space is "Landscape Lottery," a show of Jim Mott's small, sketch-like but intricately detailed oil paintings of the city and region. His process involves chance -- he's devised a participatory game where he asks someone to roll some dice to get ever more refined coordinates, then he shows up, looks around, and records what he sees. Mott repeats the game with someone he finds at that site, and he's on to the next spot.

There's clear and deliberate potential here for connecting with a wide range of strangers from all walks. In the past Mott has similarly engaged with people as an "Itinerant Artist," traveling across the states and staying with strangers in exchange for paintings done in the vicinity of their homes.

RoCo recently did away with the circular chamber that was located in the far back corner of the gallery and replaced it with a narrow, rectangular room that's fashioned into a comfortable space for viewing media art. Currently on view in the space is "Scenes of Place: Milwaukee," three short films curated by Milwaukee-based artist Ben Balcom.

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